Although the US economy has finally begun to recover from the Great Recession, families across the country continue to struggle. Despite the significant rise in workers’ productivity over the past forty years, their wages have remained stagnant while the 1 percent have reaped nearly all of the benefits. The results of this stagnation are devastating. For example, more than one in five children live in poverty.
Cities can play a crucial role in creating good jobs, raising labor standards, ensuring access to affordable housing, and strengthening our economy.
Immigrants in the United States face persistent and deep challenges: from enforcement policies that tear families apart to public agencies that discriminate on the basis of language, federal, state, and local governments often fail to live up to America’s promise as a nation of immigrants.
Although most attention to immigration policy is focused at the federal level, cities have a major role to play in improving the quality of life for immigrant families, enhancing community safety, and ensuring that government is serving residents effectively.
Fifty years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, life outcomes in the United States are still too dependent on a person’s race. Our criminal justice system targets young men of color, embedded inequalities in our education and health care systems lead to racial and ethnic disparities, and attacks on civil liberties have escalated significantly in the past decade.
Thoughtful municipal policy can increase equality and opportunity and can ensure that all residents are respected, protected, and treated with dignity.
The US electoral system needs fixing: fewer than 62 percent of eligible Americans voted in the 2012 election and approximately 50 million eligible voters are not even registered. Marginalization from the electoral process is particularly acute for people of color, low-income people, and youth.
Cities can change this reality by helping to register more voters, expanding the franchise to new communities, and engaging the public in participatory democracy.